Boko Haram and the Question of Muslim Response - Africa

Boko Haram and the Question of Muslim Response

Posted by Aneela Shahzad on

Why is the Muslim World silent on the Boko Haram issue? This is the question being hammered upon Muslims’ conscience via the mass media and the social media alike. The perplexity is that when we condemn Boko Haram’s abduction of the schoolgirls, are we inevitably being led to condemning Islam on whose name Boko Haram has done this lowly crime? 

Agence France-Presse reported a Boko Haram leader as saying, “I will sell them in the market, by Allah,” he declares, “Allah says I should sell. He commands me to sell. I will sell women” and “marry off a woman at the age of 12. I will marry off a girl at the age of nine”. 

The vicious killings of thousands of innocent civilians over the course of the last 5 years, since they have been recognized as an insurgent group, and the recent abhorrent kidnapping of 250 schoolgirls is no doubt an act most despised by all Muslims around the world. There is no question in condemning Boko Haram with the severest condemnation. However, the mainstream media’s insistence of sweeping Islam with the works of Boko Haram is just as condemnable. Islam is totally opposed to such crimes and there are ample valid reasoning for those who want logical answers. Jamia Al-Azhar, one of the most prestigious Islamic universities of the world, has said, “harming the girls is completely contradicts the teachings of Islam and its tolerant principles” and has called “for the immediate release” of the girls. 

At least we in Pakistan understand very well how insurgency is a weapon of the 4thGeneration Warfare, and how radical sections of a society are weaponized and trained by foreign funds; therefore, the question put upon the conscience of the Muslim Ummah as to the vile acts of Boko Haram is not a question put rationally. Rationality demands a fair comparison of Boko Haram’s acts with those of hundreds of thousands of innocents killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and where public is being systematically terrorized at state level for the last ten years and on. 

We do condemn the act of Boko Haram to the fullest degree, but pressurizing the Muslim conscience via mass media and the social media upon the disgrace that Boko Haram leaders have kidnapped the schoolgirls in the name of Islam, justifying their act with fake resemblance to the Sunnah of the Prophet, is completely abhorable for the Muslim people and cannot be tolerated at any cost. 

We should not forget G Bush Jr., when he waged the so-called War on Terror on Iraqand Afghanistan; he presented himself as God’s agent, saying – “I’m driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, ‘George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan.’ And I did, and then God would tell me, ‘George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq,’ and I did.” 

If mass media is ready to excuse Bush for his religious symbolism and all the brutalities of war inflicted upon these two nations, and does not feel the need to malign the Christian people as Christianist or Christian Extremists, then why should we hurry to associate the limited and orchestrated act of Boko Haram with Islam and the Muslim Ummah? 

Yet, to set a verdict upon Boko Haram is not so simple. Boko Haram or the hundreds of rebellious militant groups in CAR, Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria and Ethiopia are the results of decades of corrupt governments, which have been installed by the West in collaboration with the IMF, the WB and the largest pharmaceutical groups (USFDA). These governments have, since the independence of their states, worked in the interests of their neocolonialist masters and have thus ensured that their states should remain divided, unstable and underdeveloped. Therefore, neither Boko Haram nor anyone else has the right to become the torch-bearers of “Islam” just by shouting slogans of “Takbeer”. Those who seek to malign Islam using Boko Haram or their types (Al-Qaeda, TTP and affiliates), are basically the ones behind the funding of such groups and they play it as a two-pronged policy. 

The two-pronged policy of the US – having covert ties with Boko Haram – is revealed by the fact that ‘Hillary Clinton fought hard against placing the al-Qaeda-linked militant group Boko Haram on its official list of foreign terrorist organizations for two years’ and that the ‘State Department refused to place Boko Haram on the list of foreign terrorist organizations in 2011, after the group bombed the U.N. headquarters in Abuja’. Perhaps they wanted to give them enough time to root in..